Year 8

Today Tom and I are celebrating EIGHT years of marriage.Holy Wow!

This is one of our first photos together twelve years ago, and we had no idea what was ahead.

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Eight years later we have experienced the marriage bliss, but things haven’t been all rainbows this year.

This has been a year of transitions.

We have been watching our kids transition.

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George started gymnastics and soccer. This forced transition on all of us. I had to let go of him more, and he had to learn structure with the new found freedom. This was a whole new adventure for us as parents. We also embarked on getting him enrolled in pre-school which is huge for him. I struggled more than I could have imagined with my little man growing up and out, and Tom as usual was a good balance to my anxiety.

Daphne transitioned from a baby to a toddler. We were concerned about her speech this past spring because she just wasn’t talking and only communicated in grunts and minimal sign language. However since birth, Daphie has operated on her own timeline and we are just all along for the ride. We got her assessed by a speech therapist a few months ago, and there were many emotions that went along with that testing. She did not qualify, which now isn’t even a concern because girl can say the whole alphabet (and identify the letters), all her colors, and has started counting, amongst all the other day to day words she now says.

And a man who indulges me in my need to have themes for our kids’ Halloween costumes is a keeper. We are on 4 years strong of famous Georges and 2 years of influential women.

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We watched two of our best friends transition into marriage. We could not have been more blessed to stand beside them on their days. It was also special for us since it was our first alone trips away from both kids.

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We transitioned into the time of our lives (finally) where we start making more permanent holiday traditions. We hosted our first 4th of July shin dig which is something we have been dreaming of since we first got together.

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We are slowly transitioning our house into a homestead. We now have chickens and a garden full of produce. These have made us stronger despite the fact that the garden sometimes makes us angry with each other. Tom keeps trying to make us farmers, and I keep reminding him that we are in fact not farmers. We do have 4 chickens, an orchard with 12 trees and 3 blackberry bushes, a corn “field,” a pumpkin patch, and 6 different vegetable beds. So there’s that…

Last summer, Tom switched jobs. While he is still in law enforcement, his job looks much different than he ever expected. While he lost some of the adrenaline rush and community influence he loved about being a street cop, he gained back his health and valuable time with his family. There is also something to be said about removing yourself from a toxic environment, which was where he was previously. We gained a static routine and he gained bedtimes with the kids. We have officially had more lunches together this year than we have in our entire marriage. It has been hard for Tom to leave the road and the shift work, but he started putting our family first. But even with the added time back with our family, things haven’t been easy for him, and there are many late night talks about where he wants to be and the choices to make. It’s been a hard path to the right end. It might not feel like we are in the right place all the time, but he knows he is right where he needs to be.

With this transition though, it has allowed us more freedom. We have been trying to find our place as a family within our community whether that is with friends or with our church. We aren’t having to add this whole other element of what the shift work did to our family.

Our marriage has transitioned into a comfortable relationship in all the best ways. We have had to put in the work to get here though. I heard this phrase sometime this year, “Marriage is a practice, not an institution. Love has to be renewed every day.” This has rang true this year. You hear a lot that a marriage is a 50/50 partnership, but I would say that we both have to be giving 100%. If one of us loses we both lose. So we each have to be giving our all to this marriage. While we are partners in this life, we both have to go all in and show our whole selves otherwise this won’t work. There may be times that one of us is struggling, however even in the struggle we need to be giving our whole self to be transparent about our feelings and needs even in those down times. There is no way for us to fully support each other without that openness and willingness to let each other see all of us. The good and the sad. So it is not an institution where we just show up when we want to and claim it as it is. It is something we have to get in to every single day and commit to constantly. There are ebbs and flows as with most things, but we commit 100% each day. Because of this comfortable relationship, we have been able to be there for each other because we feel the safety from each other and know that we can fall into each other despite our flaws.

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The days aren’t always easy, but it’s easy committing to you every day.

I love you more than yesterday and thank you for this life we have.

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What We Love About Each Other

Yesterday we talked about those little quirks that irk us about each other. Today we will flip the tables and talk about some of the things we love about each other.

We’ll try not to get too ooey-gooey.

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What I love about Tom…

  1. His woodworking skills. I love that he can make anything, and I do mean anything. His imagination and ingenuity is bar-none. It is coming in real handy with our house, and watching him and George bond over it is becoming one of my favorite things to witness. (Just wait until you see all the mini tools George has…post coming soon.)
  2. His humor is one that will make milk shoot out of noses. I often am left in the wake of his wit. I just can’t keep up with the daily talks with Tom, but they often lift my spirits and can make any serious moment not seem so serious. Sometimes the humor is crude, but I think it is always in an effort to bring some fun to the table and help people (like myself) not to be hoity-toity all the time. I appreciate his ability to make me smile every time I need it.
  3. His loyalty is pretty hardcore. I am always impressed with his willingness to go all in for a cause. His dedication to his city, his country, and his family is rare. He has no hesitation going to bat for the things that he holds dear. I don’t know if there are a lot of people out there that are willing to sacrifice what he will in order to protect those that he loves. He has stuck by me in some pretty rotten times, and for that I owe him all the love in the world.

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What Tom loves about me…

  1. She is an awesome wife and mom. I don’t think I could put into words at how great she is. She is so legit. (Too legit to quit.)
  2. At the very least, she seems to appear to reserve judgements about some of my opinions about politics and humanity in general that are often shocking to say the least. I appreciate that personal leeway.
  3. The level of trust that we have. I don’t feel the need to go through emails or phone and we have joint accounts. I know everything is the way that it is supposed to be.

Tom also went on to say that he could go on and on but it would also be hard to wrap it up in words what I mean to him. And the collective awww..

What are things that you love about your partner?

8 Years in the Making

To be a little sentimental, eight years ago today Tom asked me to be his girlfriend.

233_520735061171_9716_nAnd today, we will be closing on our very first house to call our very own. We are going to be HOMEOWNERS!

So much has changed in the past eight years.

We have lived in three apartments together, but have never moved in at the same time.

We have traveled all over the country and made residence in three different states.

We both graduated college, and each have had several jobs in the eight year stretch.

We dated for four years, and have been married for four years.

We have two crazy dogs.

And one wonderfully perfect baby boy.

Today, eight years later, we get the keys to the place George will grow up in. We can finally settle down after years of moving.

So I thought it would be fun to interview Tom and see his thoughts on a few things. I saw a few other bloggers do this, and I thought today was the perfect opportunity to see his responses. I pulled some questions from Chelsea and Melissa, and created some of my own. (Tom also insisted I ask some serious questions after some of the fluff.)

My responses/thoughts are italicized.

What’s the name of my blog?

  • Finding My Yellow? Are you just making sure I knew it? Blog, that’s the name of your blog.

What do I normally blog about?

  • Your life? What are these questions?

What was my first car?

  • Red Chevy blazer.
  • Nope. It’s was a Jimmy.
  • That’s the same thing. They were made on the same production line. You can’t dig me for that one because remember how many times I fixed that thing.
  • You would think for the amount of times you fixed it you would remember it.

What’s your proudest moment of our marriage?

  • Either George or the day you graduated Clemson.
  • We weren’t married yet when I graduated.
  • Hell I consider the last 8 years our marriage. Did you feel any different the day before we got married then the day after?
  • No.
  • There you go. I am also proud that you can deal with this (as he puts on his duty gear for work). A lot of people don’t watch their husbands put on a bullet proof vest as they go to work and deal with it as well as you do. That’s not normal or something a husband does every day.
  • Then we went off script and talked about the different dangers of law enforcement and the Army.

What jewelry do I wear on a normal day?

  • Earrings, wedding ring, Clemson ring.
  • Correct, but I also wear a watch.
  • That’s not jewelry. You use it to tell time, not to be pretty.
  • False. Am I right ladies?¬†

What items are in my purse?

  • I don’t know. (The rest of his answer was wildly inappropriate.)
  • Wait you never use your purse. You always use your work bag or the diaper bag.
  • Life of a working mom, yep.

What is my favorite food?

  • It’s a daily thing for you. Beef mac? Cheese rolls at red lobster…Rueben.
  • He is right about it being a daily choice, but my go to will always be Mac and Cheese.

What is my favorite T.V. show?

  • Anything with teenagers and vampires.
  • I don’t watch anything with vampires.
  • Riiiight…You are addicted to the Bachelorette, Boy Meets World, lots of trashy TV.
  • The correct answer would have been Castle, but in his defense I do watch a lot of bad TV.

What’s an acceptable amount to pay for a dress?

  • What’s the dress for? Depends on what the occasion is?
  • Wedding dress there wouldn’t be a limit. On a normal day, a hundred bucks? (I laughed because I hardly spend over 30 bucks on a dress) Oh I shouldn’t have said that should I?
  • I just spent 12 dollars on a dress.
  • Ok well I want you to know that now if you do spend that much on a dress, I can spend that much on tools.

What are some of my favorite activities?

  • He said something dirty first-typical Tom answer.
  • Running, photography, watching trashy tv, blogging, you like live events like concerts and stuff.
  • Pretty spot on.

If I could travel anywhere, where would it be?

  • You would go on a cruise, probably somewhere like the Bahamas.
  • True.

Where did we go on our second date?

  • The zoo, duh.
  • It’s still probably one of my favorite dates.

What is your favorite quality of mine?

  • You are hopeful. (Then he went into a monologue about how he would view the world if we weren’t together, which I will spare you all from that.)

What am I looking forward to in our new house?

  • Comparatively, storage space. An air conditioner that works. A dish washer that works. A laundry room that isn’t an abyss for baby socks. And a kitchen that isn’t the size of a closet. A yard of any kind. Not wasting 750 a month on rent.
  • Yep to all that. And to be able to decorate our own space for real.

How did you know that I was the one?

  • I think if I could answer that question, then it probably wouldn’t mean very much. You just kind of know.

Is there anything you would like to share with my readers?

  • (Goofy grin.) You are not a good apologizer.
  • Sadly this is true.

Tom was really upset there weren’t more serious questions. Haha I think people (myself included) forget that Tom has a serious side because he is always goofing around. He surprises me all the time when he finally lets down his guard. But once you get past that facade, he is pretty sentimental and has some pretty serious and awesomely profound things to say.

Tom, I am so happy we decided to do life together. Now carry me over that threshold, and let’s make this place our home!

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When Love Gets Comfortable

This is not going to be your typical sappy lovey dovey post which are abundant with Valentine’s Day this weekend.

This is going to talk about those personal boundaries that are crossed once you fall in love and get comfortable.

Maybe too comfortable.

Remember when you first start dating someone, you try to look perfect around them all the time. You are almost frantic about having the perfect hair, fresh breath, and making sure you never mention bodily functions. And you glistened, no sweating here.

Over time I think it is natural for you to become more comfortable with that person and not feel like you have to go to bed with all your make-up on.

We have been together for almost 8 years and have lived together for 4 years. Eventually you start peeling back layers and your perfect facade isn’t so important anymore. Obviously this is Tom and I, and we will admit that maybe we have gotten too comfortable over the years.

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So here are 5 lines we have crossed in our boundaries as a couple.

1. We eat off of each others plates.This happened really early on. While some call it stealing of food, I just call it mutual property. I feel like there is an unwritten rule that whatever Tom has ordered, essentially I have ordered it too.

2. We have used each others toothbrushes. We each have our own, but sometimes it just happens that we use the other. Like when we are traveling, and one has forgotten it. We also keep our toothbrushes in different locations (his in the shower and mine in the vanity drawer), so there is a convenience/laziness to get our own factor. I mean seriously, why is this gross? We make out, so we are already swapping saliva.

3. We fart in front of each other. With my lack of smell, this kind of has gotten out of control we admit. We believe gas is natural so we let it out. You really shouldn’t be trying to suppress them. Tom does sometimes get upset with me because I really have no gates up about this one, and he can smell. Sucks for all y’all who have working nostrils.

4. Speaking of noses, we pick ours in front of each other. (We don’t pick each other’s…FYI. That would be gross.) I know it is inappropriate to go digging around your nose in public, but you are lying if you say you don’t occasionally have to pick your nose in private. And if you don’t, then you must not have the booger problems that the Whiteners do. (and well this has just gotten embarrassing.) It’s just something that happens for us. I have some pretty bad allergies, and for the record, Tom has the worst boogers on the planet so this was something I had to get over quick. Seriously he has boogers that he has to go in with tweezers and practically do surgery to get them out…quarter size boogers I tell you. It’s as gross as it sounds.

5. We leave the door open when we go to the bathroom. I would say that we only recently crossed this line. I haven’t really cared for awhile, but Tom was pretty adamant about keeping that part of our anatomy in secret. But when you have a bad case of food poisoning and are pretty much helpless in all functioning, Tom had to realize that I do indeed poop. Also when you watch your wife give birth and help her shower/walk/sit on a toilet for a few days after, pretty much any boundary that wasn’t crossed is now non-existent. I think his stint in the Army also made it more acceptable in our house to leave doors open.

For the record, one line I hate that we have crossed is putting sunblock on each other. I think it is disgusting to lotion someone else up. This may seem backwards considering what I have witnessed from Tom and other boundaries we have crossed, but there is something about putting lotion on someone else that gives me the heebeejeebees.

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Anyway, there is very little mystery in our relationship. Open books. There are some times where we think why are we letting the other see this? We also want to talk to high schoolers and say love is when you are able to talk about your poop to each other.

They love you at your best, and also stick with that love at your worst (and stinkiest).

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Are we alone in our over-sharing? What do you still keep as a mystery with your significant other?

There is dog hair EVERYWHERE

Literally.

There is dog hair everywhere.

Even in my foot.

You read that correctly.

I have gotten dog hair splinters several times.

Yes, I feel absolutely ridiculous saying that I get dog hair stuck in the heel of my foot.

This weekend I got one so bad that it was starting to bruise my foot.

It looked like Tom was doing surgery on my foot to get it out. He had a head lamp, tweezers, nail clippers, and a needle to dig that sucker out of my foot. That single piece of hair was half an inch. That little bugger.

Doing rudimentary surgery on your significant others foot is love.

Trusting your significant other with above items to dig out a dog hair is love. (Although he did live in a place without doctors for 6 months)

This is love.

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These are the moments we see right before we go to sleep now. A beautiful embrace in their slumber.

I love them so much.

Even if it means I have a dirty house with the never ending layer of dog hair no matter how much we sweep and wipe things down.

Even if it means that we now have  two full size comforters on the bed because only one means that Tom and I are never comfortable sleeping.

Even if it means on a regular basis I have a dog hair splinters.

Those rare moments seen here make me love them despite all that.

I am taking in these moments of love.